When Sheffield Wednesday confirmed the initial season-long- loan deal of Frederico Venancio, I must admit, I was a little underwhelmed.
Taking a punt on a player from the Portuguese Primeira Liga was always a risk. With no experience of English football, I expected Venancio to be a name that was forgotten about quickly.
Although the Owls number 46 found himself on the bench until the arrival of Jos Luhukay in January, I can now hold my hands up and say that Frederico has found his feet in this physically demanding division. Game time under Jos has allowed the centre-back to expose his key attributes.
Venancio has now contributed to eight clean sheets in 23 appearances for the Owls in all ompetitions this term. For me, his predominant strengths include; concentration, staying calm under pressure, blocking the ball and tackling. I know that these traits are everything you would expect in a centre-back, however, at times, Vanancio has demonstrated a natural ability to carry out these actions with ease.
Wednesday have the option to sign Venancio on a permanent basis this summer. That was a shrewd decision. The Portuguese central-defender is only 25 years of age; therefore, if Wednesday were to land Venancio on a fixed-deal this summer, he will at least maintain his sell on value, plus, he still has many years left in his locker.
One thing we have learnt from Luhukay’s managerial reign is his likeliness to field three centre-backs in the ever present 5-3- 2 setup. Venancio has become a valuable asset in the back three and I think it’s safe to say he has firmly established himself as a trusted member of the Owls squad.
Frederico has become at least one shining light in a dark and dismal Owls campaign. I would love to see Jos Luhukay make Venancio our first permanent summer capture. It’s the least he deserves.
Sign him up!